Four years ago, I arrived at Khanyisa Elephant Sanctuary, not knowing what to expect. I was immediately struck by the beauty of the place and the gentle nature of the elephants. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of experiencing so many incredible moments and meeting some truly amazing people.
Here are 50 of the most unforgettable moments from my time at Khanyisa:
The first time I saw a baby elephant – I instantly fell in love!Watching the elephants play in the mudSeeing the elephants swim in the riverWitnessing the elephants communicate with each otherParticipating in an elephant walkFeeding the elephants their breakfastWatching the elephants interact with their mahoutsSeeing the elephants receive medical care from the vetsHelping to prepare the elephants’ foodWatching the elephants sleepSeeing the elephants use their trunks to pick things upHearing the elephants trumpetWatching the elephants scratch themselves on treesSeeing the elephants enjoy a dust bathWitnessing the elephants’ unique personalitiesSeeing the elephants interact with other animals, such as the dogs and horsesWatching the baby elephants learn from their mothers and auntiesSeeing the elephants celebrate a birthWitnessing the elephants mourn a lossParticipating in an elephant painting sessionSeeing the elephants enjoy their enrichment activitiesWatching the elephants take their afternoon napSeeing the elephants forage for foodWatching the elephants interact with volunteers and visitorsSeeing the elephants explore new areas of the sanctuaryWitnessing the elephants use their incredible strengthSeeing the elephants show affection to each otherWatching the elephants use their trunks to drink waterSeeing the elephants play with logs and ballsWitnessing the elephants enjoy a treat of fresh fruitWatching the elephants interact with their environmentSeeing the elephants exhibit natural behaviorsParticipating in an elephant feeding sessionWatching the elephants communicate with their body languageSeeing the elephants bathe in the sunWitnessing the elephants enjoy a cool breezeWatching the elephants use their trunks to create dust cloudsSeeing the elephants enjoy a rainy dayWitnessing the elephants explore their surroundingsSeeing the elephants walk gracefullyWatching the elephants graze on grassSeeing the elephants use their trunks to break branchesWitnessing the elephants relax in the shadeParticipating in a mahout training sessionSeeing the elephants show their intelligenceWatching the elephants use their trunks to scratch their earsSeeing the elephants interact with their environment in unique waysWitnessing the elephants use their trunks to create artWatching the elephants enjoy their daily routineSeeing the elephants show their love for life
It’s amazing to think about the incredible experiences I’ve had over the past four years. I feel so fortunate to have been able to witness these moments and to be a part of the lives of these amazing animals. I will always hold a special place in my heart for Khanyisa and the elephants that call it home.